Combining breathtaking beaches with traditional Greek island villages and centuriebs of historical landmarks dating back to Venetian rule, Kefalonia is the largest of Greece’s Ionian Islands and promises many different experiences.
Whether you are seeking a quiet beach holiday with the family, a vibrant resort town, or an authentic immersion into the region’s traditional cultures, I have found that the types of experiences all start with your choice of where to stay in Kefalonia.
So let’s look at Kefalonia’s various towns and villages to help you determine whether your trip is best suited for the quiet hillside village of Assos, the bustling beach resorts of Skala, or the historical Venetian community of Fiskardo.
Best Places to Stay in Kefalonia
Just looking for a selection of the island’s top accommodations? Check out these quick picks of the best hotels and resorts in Kefalonia.
Now that we know some of Kefalonia’s top accommodation options, let’s take a closer look at the various regions you can choose to base your exploration of the island.
11 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Kefalonia
Best Area to Stay in For First-Time Visitors
With a population of just over 10,000 people, Argostoli is the largest town on Kefalonia and is home to the island’s only international airport and a primary port for disembarking ferries.
As such, Argostoli is also the best area in Kefalonia for those visiting the island for the first time and boasts several restaurants, cafes, shops, and other travel services for your stay while maintaining a convenient setting for exploring the island’s various sites and attractions.
While Argostoli serves as a fantastic base for day trips across the island, the town hosts several must-visit attractions, including Saint Theodoroi Lighthouse, De Bosset Bridge, and the community’s main square, which comes alive at night with traditional nightlife.
Argostoli Mini Guide
The best area to stay in if you are visiting Kefalonia for the first time.
- Best Hotels — Canale Hotel & Suites • Asteras Studios • Yasemi
- Best Apartments — 1 Bedroom Apartment • 2 Bedroom Apartment • 2 Bedroom Apartment
- Where to Eat — Tzivras $, Ampelaki Restaurant $$, Sepia $$$
- Where to Drink — Leo’s Bar, Bee’s Knees the Bar, Baroque le Bistrot
- Top Attractions — Argostoli Harbour, Saint Theodore Lighthouse, Sinkholes of Argostoli
A Comfortable Kefalonian Town Boasting Authentic Charms
Located along the western shores of the Paliki Peninsula, Lixouri is Kefalonia’s second-largest town. It can be reached by a quick boat ride 35 kilometers across the bay from Argostoli or by driving 45 minutes along the shoreline around the body of water.
Surrounded by vineyards, farmlands, and olive groves, Lixouri offers a quieter setting for enjoying the island’s more traditional cultures while maintaining access to several restaurants and services.
What’s more is that Lixouri also puts visitors within convenient proximity to some of the island’s best beaches, including Xi Beach and Petani Beach, promising a surreal Greek island holiday.
Lixouri Mini Guide
The best area to stay in for an authentic island experience.
- Best Hotels — Palatino Hotel • Petania Hotel & Apartments • Argile Resort & Spa
- Best Apartments — Studio Apartment • 2 Bedroom Apartment • 3 Bedroom Apartment
- Where to Eat — Avli $$, Akrogiáli $$, S’Anammena Kapboyna $
- Where to Drink — Inside Bar, Alobar Cocktail Bar, Loft Cocktail Bar
- Top Attractions — Xi Beach, Petani Beach, Monastery of Kipoureon
A Small Town with Traditional Vibes Along Kefalonia’s East Coast
Home to Kefalonia’s second largest port, Sami is a picturesque small town and one of the best areas on the island for exploring its eastern shores while venturing to other nearby islands, such as Ithaca and Patra.
Additionally, while the town is north facing, its eastern setting makes it one of the best communities for waking up to breathtaking sunrise views over the surrounding Ionian Sea.
Some top attractions in and around Sami include the town’s harbourfront, home to some of the region’s best restaurants, cafes, and taverns. At the same time, those looking for a more adventurous excursion can head over to Antisamos Beach, Melissani Cave, or Drogarati Cave.
Sami Mini Guide
The best area to stay on Kefalonia’s eastern coast.
- Best Hotels — Sami Beach Hotel • Melissani Hotel • Alancia Suites
- Best Apartments — 2 Bedroom Apartment • 2 Bedroom Apartment
- Where to Eat — Il Familia $$, The Mermaid $, Contessina Restaurant $$
- Where to Drink — Willys Café and Bar, Kraken Bar, Afrala Restaurant Cocktail Bar
- Top Attractions — Melissani Cave, Drogarati Cave, Antisamos Beach
A Historical Village with Venetian Architecture and Luxury Accommodations.
Nestled along Kefalonia’s northern tip, Fiskardo is the only neighborhood on the island that largely escaped the catastrophic effects of the 1953 volcano that devastated other parts of the region.
As such, Fiskardo has become known as one of Kefalonia’s most luxurious tourist areas, boasting historical and traditional architecture and landmarks dating back to the region’s Venetian rule from the 16th to the 18th centuries.
Surrounded by a protected bay with an old Venetian lighthouse, Fiskardo is famous for its calm and clear waters, which are popular amongst luxury yachts and private charters.
Additionally, the town’s waterfront is home to several seafood restaurants and traditional cafes, while the nearby Fokis and Emplisi Beaches entice visitors to take a cooling dip into the Ionian.
Fiskardo Mini Guide
The best area to stay in for history and luxury.
- Best Hotels —Emelisse Nature Resort • Fiscardonna Luxury Suites • Fiscardo Bay Hotel
- Best Villas — 1 Bedroom Villa • 2 Bedroom Villa • 4 Bedroom Villa
- Where to Eat — Tassia Restaurant $$, Apagio $$, Vasso’s Restaurant $$
- Where to Drink — Panormos Tavern, Elli’s, Irida Café Bar Restaurant
- Top Attractions — Fiskardo Harbour, Venetian Lighthouse of Fiskardo, Paralia Emplisi
A Small Charming Village Perfect for Couples
Best Hotels in Assos — Chromata Assos Villa Kefalonia
A small hillside fishing village on its own quiet peninsula along Kefalonia’s northwestern shores, Assos is one of the island’s most picturesque communities. It offers plenty of Grecian romance for traveling couples.
A more traditional Greek island village, Assos is perfect for those seeking authentic Kefalonian culture and features minimal development influenced by the tourism industry. As such, accommodation options are limited in town, and visitors should reserve their rooms well before their planned visit.
Some top things to do in Assos include exploring the town’s traditional waterfront restaurants, visiting the nearby Myrtos Beach, and hiking to the old Venetian Castle of Assos.
A Coastal Haven Perfect for Visiting Without a Car.
Located just south of Argostoli, Lassi is known for its long beautiful stretches of shoreline. It is home to numerous beachfront hotels and resorts perfect for a holiday exploring Kefalonia’s Ionian sands.
Additionally, thanks to its convenient location near the airport and Argostoli’s harbor, Lassi is a fantastic spot for visiting the island without a car. And as a developed resort community, the town also features several restaurants, bars, and other services, promising a comfortable and convenient holiday during your stay on the island.
Lassi Mini Guide
The Best Area to Stay in for a Beach Holiday.
- Best Hotels — The “L” Suites & Apartments • Liberatos Village • Thalassa Boutique Hotel
- Best Villa — 3 Bedroom Villa • 3 Bedroom Villa • 3 Bedroom Beach Villa
- Where to Eat — Sto Psito $$, Trata Restaurant $$, Da Veronica Restaurant $
- Where to Drink — Logos Grand View, Il Gabbiano Restaurant Cocktail Bar, TANU’s Restaurant Bar
- Top Attractions — Gradakia Beach, Kalamia Beach, Saint Theodore Lighthouse
A Less Busy Resort Town Ideal for Island Hopping
Once a bustling tourist hub of Kefalonia, Poros has seen a decline in international visitors in recent years thanks to the development of other resort towns on the island, such as Skala and Lassi.
Still, the small fishing village offers a picturesque neighborhood along the island’s eastern shores. It promises a quiet setting for enjoying the many draws of the destination, along with several seaside restaurants, bars, and boutique shops.
Along with offering access to nearby beaches and attractions, Poros is also home to one of the island’s main harbors servicing ferries to and from both the mainland and other Greek Islands, making it a fantastic spot to stay if you plan on doing a little island hopping.
Poros Mini Guide
The best area to stay in for island hopping.
A Busy Package Holiday Resort Perfect for Families
Located only 12 km south of Poros, Skala is one of Kefalonia’s most developed resort towns and attracts increasing numbers of holidaymakers to its idyllic shores each year.
Along with boasting a picturesque stretch of shoreline with pebbly and sandy beaches lined with verdant pine forests, Skala also features several watersports, an active nightlife, and services catering to the holiday experience, including traditional cafes, bars, bakeries, and restaurants.
Those looking to do a little sightseeing during their visit can expect to find several historical and cultural attractions, including an Old Roman Villa, The Cave of Sakkos, and the Chapel of Agios Georgios.
Skala Mini Guide
The best area to stay in for families.
- Best Hotels — Melidron Hotel • Skala Hotel • Zephyros Hotel
- Best Apartments — 2 Bedroom Villa
- Where to Eat — Sunrise Fish Restaurant $$, The Old Village $$, Taverna Apostolis $$
- Where to Drink — Akri Seaside Café Bar, Metaxa Bar, Captains Bar
- Top Attractions — Skala Beach, Spithi Beach, Pelagos Beach
The Best Family Beach Holiday Destination on Kefalonia
Promising a traditional Greek island beach holiday, Lourdas is one of Kefalonia’s most picturesque stretches of shoreline and offers a quaint beach holiday perfect for a family vacation.
Spanning 1.5 km along one of Kefalonia’s largest bays, the beach consists of sand and small pebbles and features rows of loungers and sunbeds with service to the nearby beachfront restaurants and bars.
Along with offering access to one of the island’s most pristine beaches, Lourdas is also home to several beachfront resorts and hotels. It is an excellent base for exploring Kefalonia’s southern shores’ natural landmarks and attractions.
Lourdas Mini Guide
The best place to stay in Kefalonia for beaches.
- Best Hotels — F Zeen • La Signora Hotel • Maria Apartments
- Best Apartments — Studio Apartment • Studio Apartment • 1 Bedroom Apartment
- Where to Eat — Lorraine’s magic Hill $$, Taverna Lovidis $$, Lithero $
- Where to Drink — Beach Bar Sunset, Seven Café Bar, Muses Café Bar
- Top Attractions — Lourdas Beach, Ainos National Park, Lefka Beach
Charming Small Village with Authentic Kefalonian Charm.
Unlike many other parts of Kefalonia, the Svoronata area is surrounded by farmland and is primarily flat. For this reason, the quaint traditional Greek neighborhood is perfect for visitors with mobility difficulties or those simply seeking an authentic Kefalonian experience.
Located only 10 km from Argostoli, Svoronata is next to the airport and is one of the few places on the island largely untouched by the 1953 earthquake. As such, the town still features some Venetian architecture, although modern buildings can still be found there.
While not as developed as other resort towns, Svoronata features several convenient services, including quaint restaurants and taverns, mini markets, and even a go-karting track.
Svoronata Mini Guide
The best area to stay in for a quiet village setting.
- Best Hotels — Poesia Hotel • Villa Theodora • Dallas Hotel
- Best Vacation Rental — Studio Apartment • 5 Bedroom Beachfront Villa • 1 Bedroom Villa
- Where to Eat — Avithos Preview $$, Esperides Restaurant $$, Dum Spiro Spero $$
- Where to Drink — Cova Beach Bar, To Enetiko
- Top Attractions — Castle of Agios Georgios, Ai Helis Beach, Avithos Beach
11. Agia Efimia
A Picturesque Fishing Village for a Quiet Holiday.
A small, developed resort town with authentic Kefalonian fishing village charms, Agia Efimia combines a traditional Greek island holiday with the convenient comforts of several nearby travel services.
The town’s seafront is home to several bars, restaurants, cafes, and taverns where you can explore the island’s local drink and food. At the same time, the nearby harbourfront features several companies offering boat rentals for exploring the surrounding waters.
The town also features several historical landmarks, including the Monastery of Themata, built in the 11th century, and an Old Roman Villa.
Agia Efimia Mini Guide
The best area to stay in for a traditional Greek fishing town.
- Best Hotels — Logaras Apartments • Kefalonia Bay Palace • Poseidon Apartments
- Best Apartments — Studio Apartment • 1 Bedroom Apartment
- Where to Eat — The Local $$, Spiros Restaurant $$, Foinikas Restaurant $
- Where to Drink — Café Bar Cactus, Carena Bar Restaurant, Paradise Beach Restaurant
- Top Attractions — Monastery of Themata, Agia Efimia’s Beachfront, The Odyssey Hotel Spa
FAQs About Where to Stay in Kefalonia
What are the best places to stay in Kefalonia for tourists?
Where you should stay in Kefalonia depends on the types of experiences you are looking for. Still, Lixouri, Skala, and Lourdas are typically some of the best places to stay on the island, thanks to their developed infrastructure for tourists, with several nearby amenities.
Where Should I Stay if I am Visiting Kefalonia for the First Time?
When deciding where to stay in Kefalonia, first-time visitors will want to choose an accessible area with nearby services and a central location for visiting various attractions. As such, Argostoli, Poros, Sami, and Skala are some of the best areas for basing your first trip to the island.
Where to stay in Kefalonia with family?
Skala and Lourdas are some of the best areas to stay in Kefalonia for families and promise a fun setting for a beach holiday that the whole family can enjoy. Some of the best hotels on the island for families include the Leviatho Hotel in Svoronata, the Emelisse Nature Resort in Fiskardo, and the Mediteranee Hotel in Lassi.
Where are the best beaches in Kefalonia?
World-class beaches are found throughout Kefalonia’s shorelines, with some of the island’s most breathtaking being Myrtos Beach along Kefalonia’s western shores, Antisamos Beach near Sami, and Xi Beach along the southern coast of the Paliki Peninsula.